Sunday, January 06, 2008

Tridentine High Mass at the Cathedral

This afternoon we piled everyone in the van and headed to Raleigh to Sacred Heart Cathedral for the first High Mass held there in likely 40 years. I heard about it on the Internet at the blog Summorum Pontificum, which links to all things related. Weighted down with 5 missals, a sippy cup, a baggie of Cheerios, several rosaries, and a tiny photo album chock-full of holy cards we slipped in the door 30 minutes before Mass was to begin. We have found it prudent over the years to get to any Mass early if we want to all sit together. By 4:20 there wasn't a single seat left and people filled the vestibule and lined the outer walls. It seems a great many came out of curiosity since less than 1/3 of the women wore a veil and many folks didn't seem to be able to follow the order of the Mass. I tried to help one older lady in front of me find her place in a missal she obviously had been given for the occasion, but after 20 minutes she and her friend seemed to give up in frustration and left.

The beauty of the Cathedral seemed made for this evening. The stars on the ceiling seemed to sparkle extra brightly as the choir, brought in from Sacred Heart parish, sang the Kyrie and Credo in harmonious chant. The organ seemed to belt out with extra vigor the Sanctus, and the parishioners sang with gusto the Processional, We Three Kings. The bishop gave a short homily, mentioning that starting tomorrow 15 diocesan priests will be training to say the Extraordinary Form. He said that he thinks the Pope would be pleased at the generosity of these priests to provide the TLM throughout the diocese of Raleigh. While next month's High Mass likely will not be quite so grand, with 5 priests and the bishop in attendance, or so crowded, it will continue to be the most perfect offering that man has ever given to God. I am grateful to have participated in this historic occasion, but more pleased at the possibility that the Mass of the Ages will spread and touch many more hearts than just those tonight.


Anonymous said...

I usually lurk on your site. I too am a Catholic mom with 5 kids about the same ages. I love your idea about a photo album of holy cards. A great way to show the kids proper role models and learn all at the same time. Thanks! Theresa

Anne Marie said...

When I taught third grade I bought a small photo album for each student in my class so they had a place to keep their Holy Cards. I loved watching them look through their Saint books.

One of the boys in my class started trading Holy Cards. I initially didn't like it but it did improve their knowledge of Saints.

Anne Marie

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

I am not Catholic, but I am very partial to the wonderful music connected to the old rituals. Somehow, I was imagining Palestrina when you described the organ crescendoing on the Sanctus.

I am glad it was beautiful for you.

+JMJ+ said...

Wow, Raleigh rocks! 15 in training! How exciting.

I enjoy your blog.

Karen said...

You will find Maine to be quite a shock in terms of the Latin Mass when you come back. :( Fr. Mulkern (the older priest who gave 1 hr sermons? lol) said his last TLM a couple Sundays ago. The Sundau he said his last Mass he said it in Newcastle. Guess what? That same Sunday they couldn't find a priest to cover the TLM in Portland so they did not have Mass, probably the first time since the TLM started in Maine that this has happened outside of canceling for a snowstorm!. Fr. M spoke of "5 priests supposedly learning the TLM" (<-his words) according to the pastor of the Cathedral in Portland.

Elsewhere, my husband's parents attended St. John's in Bangor. My FIL got a scolding from the priest as he was about to receive Holy Communion. Why? he wasn't kneeling. Because he had crossed over into the priest's line! The priest there, whom we are told is not the usual priest there--as if that matters, told my FIL he should be ashamed of himself for not receiving from an EM (eucharistic minister). This prompted a letter to be written by my MIL to the Bishop. The Bishop (or whomever) wrote back, and although he agreed the priest picked the wrong time to say anything, much less what he did say) the Bishop expressed his dismay at the fact that my FIL hasn't accepted the Church's teaching on receiving Communion from an EM, and went on and on about the BS about how this is a teaching that goes way back to the early Church (you've heard that argument, right?).